G5420 Hum/Noise Problems

Discussion in 'Technical Side of Things' started by Dean90, Jun 6, 2020.

  1. Dean90

    Dean90 Newbie

    Jun 6, 2020
    North Texas
    Good morning,

    I'm new to the forum; I searched here and through Google but couldn't find anything that matched my issue.

    I just bought a used, older model of a left handed G5420 off Reverb. My problem is that, when plugged in, it hums a lot. Louder than the output of the pickups even. After reading on this site, I tried testing if it was a grounding or wiring issue. I tried playing it through both amps (Fender Mustang I and a Fender Champion 600); same issue on both amps. I set the Champion 600 up in the middle of the living room away from any other electronics but I got the same humming noise. I tried 2 different cables as well.

    I'm guessing it's not a grounding issue, because it does not go away if I touch metal. I know with normal hum, at least with single coils, the noise will die down when you're not playing. This humming gets louder when you actually play a note. It's like a static that overshadows the entire output of the guitar; I'm hearing more hum than pickups.

    I normally play Stratocasters, and I plugged in a Strat right after trying out the Gretsch. The Strat did not have any issue and the single coils are noticeably quieter than the Gretsch's humbuckers.

    Last thing I noticed is that the input jack does not let me put the cable all the way in. I plug it into the Gretsch, and the jack pops the cable end back out by maybe a mm or so. I tried holding the jack all the way in, but that did not change the sound.

    I'm thinking it might need a luthier to examine it, but there are none in my town I can go to. I bought it from an actual guitar shop online that has a return policy, so if I can't fix this issue myself I'll have to return her.

    This is my first hollow-body guitar, but I've listened to my dad playing his Godin 5th Ave and I've never heard humming like this.

    Does anyone here have a suggestion on what the culprit could be?

    Thank you for your time,
  2. Jeff67

    Jeff67 Country Gent

    Nov 3, 2019
    Crockett, Texas
    I think another member had a similar problem a couple weeks ago, but I don't remember who it was. Someone should be along in a bit who can help you out. Welcome to GT! And we love pictures.:)
    Dean90 likes this.
  3. radd

    radd Country Gent

    Dec 27, 2017
    Santa cruz
    If it is the jack, and that makes sense considering the cable ends does not fit properly, the fix will be fairly inexpensive. A new quality Switchcraft jack only costs about $5.00. A tech should not charge much to replace that.

    I bet the issue gets sorted out quickly by a good tech.

    Good luck
    Dean90 likes this.
  4. Henry

    Henry I Bleed Orange

    Apr 9, 2014
    Try anothet guitar cable. Do they have another left handed one? I would return and try another.
    SuddenImpact and Dean90 like this.
  5. hcsterg

    hcsterg Country Gent

    Feb 13, 2012
    Welcome @Dean90 Lefty Mate ! ;)

    A poor contact somewhere or a GND issue of some sort, nothing else, if all the rest works...

    Dean90 likes this.
  6. wabash slim

    wabash slim Gretschified

    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    Howdy! Welcome to the madhouse!

    Sounds like the jack could be the issue, or it's due to a short somewhere.

    Otherwise, you'll need an exorcism.
    Jeff67 and Dean90 like this.
  7. Dean90

    Dean90 Newbie

    Jun 6, 2020
    North Texas
    Thanks for all your replies, guys!

    I finally found and talked with a luthier who said it would be pricey to diagnose and suggested I just return it for a different model like @Henry said.
    He's the only luthier in the city I could locate, and his store only stocks custom shop items so I'm not surprised by his response.

    It may very well just be a simple fix but I don't have any room for soldering in this house and no garage, so I'm taking the luthier's advice and returning it.
    The ad from Sam Ash said the guitar was in working condition with no scratches, but the thing is covered in scratches and mangled binding, so I'm gonna cut my losses with that store.

    It's a shame 'cause Gretsch doesn't make the 5420 left handed in Aspen Green anymore. I may just wait until Sweetwater has lefties back in stock, I've never had issues with them.

    Thanks again so much everyone.
    MTurner, thunder58 and Henry like this.
  8. mrfixitmi

    mrfixitmi Synchromatic

    Mar 20, 2010
    I had a similar issue with a 5120T that someone traded in to the shop. I offered to fix it, for about $20, but she said that she was not a hollow body girl, and wanted a strat.
    The output jack would not hold the 1/4" cable, along with the intense humming, and it kept popping out as well. I replaced it with a Switchcraft Jack. What I did find was the the original jack was worn out, and someone tried to bend the positive lead toward the center to grip the 1/4" pin tighter. They bend it, but it was crooked causing the positive lead to rub the ground.

    You may want to see if you can straighten it, but be careful, you don't want to crack the body.

    If it were me, I would replace it, damaging the body to save the cost on a $6 part is not worth the risk.
    Besides if the jack was already worn, the "fix" will only be temporary.
    It is not unusual for these jacks to go bad, especially if someone used a straight lead, it probably put too much tension on the jack and the body. You may want to consider a 90 degree cable on the guitar side. Another helpful suggestion is wrapping the cable through your guitar strap a few times before plugging into the out put jack, on the guitar. It helps save the body in case you have band mates that like to dance on the cables.
    Dean90 likes this.
  9. Henry

    Henry I Bleed Orange

    Apr 9, 2014
    Yikes! Send some pictures to Sam Ash and maybe they will give you a few hundred dollars back if it is worth it to you, i understand it is hard to find a lefty. Sam Ash can't really sell a guitar like that anyway except at a discount and they will spend $200 time and shipping just taking your return and sending it to a new buyer, they should just pay you a little to keep it.
    Dean90 likes this.
  10. Dean90

    Dean90 Newbie

    Jun 6, 2020
    North Texas
    A new G5420 is $849, this older model was $449 and their pictures were lo-res, so I figured it would be scuffed up but I didn't think the wiring would be an issue. I entered my refund request in Reverb for just a partial but they told me to ship it back instead. I think they might assume I'm scamming them when it was already discounted, but again they did not disclose the electronics issue either; I'll gonna message them again.

    Also, @mrfixitmi I looked inside earlier and did see that the long flat end of jack was bent inwards. I looked inside while I plugged the cable in, and the tip of the cable is scraping against the the contact point, but the contact is too angled in and pushes the cable tip back out. Thanks for the tip!
    mrfixitmi and Henry like this.
  11. hcsterg

    hcsterg Country Gent

    Feb 13, 2012
    Sure - I had one and should never have sold it... :(


  12. thunder58

    thunder58 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Admin Post
    Welcome to the forum @Dean90 , glad you found us . I'm not sure what stores are open throughout the country and what's not , or where you bought it . But perhaps you may want to call also and get a purchase / return number for your records . Best with everything and welcome again
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